China defends internet censorship

Staff Writer on
China defends internet censorship

Necessary to protect the people, says government.

China has defended its internet censorship policy, claiming that its actions protect the rights of citizens.

A document published by the Chinese government entitled The Internet in China argues that internet control is necessary for state protection, and warns other governments to respect its authority in this area.

China's censorship of the internet came into the public eye when the country fell out with Google over a hacking incident earlier this year.

Google's battles with Chinese regulators gained attention across the world, and the government has now responded to some of the accusations.

While the outside world may think that China is trampling on individual freedom by censoring the internet, the government believes that it is working towards the opposite goal by providing web access to 45 per cent of its huge population.

"The Chinese government encourages and supports the development of the network news media, providing a wealth of news and information, and shall protect the citizen's freedom of speech on the internet, to protect the public's right to know, participate, express and to supervise," the document said.

However, the paper explains that the internet needs controlling and filtering when inappropriate material, such as that involving political dissent, is published, and that it should be the work of government and service providers to protect citizens from this material.

"Internet service providers and other internet security management systems should be established to take technical measures to prevent all kinds of illegal dissemination of information," it explained.

The paper also claimed that China is a regular victim of hacking attacks, which is another reason why it must exert control over the internet.

"Chinese law prohibits any form of network hacking," it noted, in an allusion to the Google hacks for which it has denied any responsibility.

"Laws and regulations [are necessary] to safeguard information security, internet, basic legal basis for all citizens. In the People's Republic of China, foreign citizens, legal persons and other organisations must comply," it concluded.

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